The decline of farmland biodiversity is mainly attributed to the intensive use of chemical inputs in agriculture. Cover crop residues may contribute to improve weed management while maintaining a high level of weed diversity. A 2-year field experiment was carried out in central Italy to study the effect of cover crop species and their residue management on weed community composition and weed species diversity in a winter cover crop e pepper sequence. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and canola (Brassica napus L.) were sown in September 2009 and 2010 and grew undisturbed during the winter season until spring when they were suppressed one week before pepper transplanting. Cover crop residues were: (i) green manured at 30 cm depth (conventional tillage, CT), (ii) green manured at 10 cm depth (minimum tillage, MT), and (iii) left on the soil surface as mulch strips covering 50% of the ground area in no-tilled soil (NT). A winter weedy fallow and a bare soil without cover crop in NT, MT and CT were also included as controls. Weed plant density data in pepper were used for calculating weed species richness. Compared to weedy fallow, oat, hairy vetch and canola consistently reduced the weed density and weed aboveground biomass by the time of their suppression (on average 3.6, 21.5, and 41.3 plants m2 and 11.0, 49.2, and 161.8 g m2 of DM, respectively). In pepper, oat residues generally determined a higher reduction of weed density and species richness compared to hairy vetch and canola regardless the residue management treatments. Converting cover crop aboveground biomass into mulch strips greatly reduced weed species density but did not always imply a reduction of weed species diversity in pepper compared to MT and CT. The weed species richness was reduced inside the mulch strips, while a richer and more diverse weed community was found outside the mulch strips in NT.Weed community in pepper was mainly composed of annual dicot weeds such as Amaranthus retroflexus, Chenopodium album, Solanum nigrum, Polygonum aviculare which were mostly associated with MT and CT tillage systems, while in NT an increase of perennial species such as Rumex crispus was observed. These results suggest that it is possible to manage cover crop residues in NT in order to obtain a lower weed density and consequently a higher yield in pepper compared to MT and CT while maintaining a high level of weed diversity.

Impact of managing cover crop residues on the floristic composition and species diversity of the weed community of pepper crop (Capsicum annuum L.)

RADICETTI E
Primo
;
2013

Abstract

The decline of farmland biodiversity is mainly attributed to the intensive use of chemical inputs in agriculture. Cover crop residues may contribute to improve weed management while maintaining a high level of weed diversity. A 2-year field experiment was carried out in central Italy to study the effect of cover crop species and their residue management on weed community composition and weed species diversity in a winter cover crop e pepper sequence. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), oat (Avena sativa L.) and canola (Brassica napus L.) were sown in September 2009 and 2010 and grew undisturbed during the winter season until spring when they were suppressed one week before pepper transplanting. Cover crop residues were: (i) green manured at 30 cm depth (conventional tillage, CT), (ii) green manured at 10 cm depth (minimum tillage, MT), and (iii) left on the soil surface as mulch strips covering 50% of the ground area in no-tilled soil (NT). A winter weedy fallow and a bare soil without cover crop in NT, MT and CT were also included as controls. Weed plant density data in pepper were used for calculating weed species richness. Compared to weedy fallow, oat, hairy vetch and canola consistently reduced the weed density and weed aboveground biomass by the time of their suppression (on average 3.6, 21.5, and 41.3 plants m2 and 11.0, 49.2, and 161.8 g m2 of DM, respectively). In pepper, oat residues generally determined a higher reduction of weed density and species richness compared to hairy vetch and canola regardless the residue management treatments. Converting cover crop aboveground biomass into mulch strips greatly reduced weed species density but did not always imply a reduction of weed species diversity in pepper compared to MT and CT. The weed species richness was reduced inside the mulch strips, while a richer and more diverse weed community was found outside the mulch strips in NT.Weed community in pepper was mainly composed of annual dicot weeds such as Amaranthus retroflexus, Chenopodium album, Solanum nigrum, Polygonum aviculare which were mostly associated with MT and CT tillage systems, while in NT an increase of perennial species such as Rumex crispus was observed. These results suggest that it is possible to manage cover crop residues in NT in order to obtain a lower weed density and consequently a higher yield in pepper compared to MT and CT while maintaining a high level of weed diversity.
2013
Radicetti, E; Mancinelli, R; Campiglia, E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2459173
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